The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to pass a bill to slap sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline sponsored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a day after Democrats unveiled their own legislation.
The tally was 55 in favor and 44 against the bill that needed 60 votes to pass, a major hurdle in the 50-50 Senate. The vote spanned nearly seven hours as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer considered options on voting rights legislation.
Senator Robert Menendez won the support of many of his fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden, for an alternative bill he introduced on Wednesday. His legislation would impose sweeping sanctions on top Russian government and military officials and banking institutions if Moscow engages in hostilities against Ukraine.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat who had originally co-sponsored Nord Stream 2 sanctions legislation with Cruz, voted against his bill saying it risked breaking unity in Washington and in Europe over Russian aggression against Ukraine.